Today would have been my Tyson's 20th birthday. Thinking of him as a 20 year old is hard to believe. We really miss him but truly cherish all the times we were blessed enough to spend with him. He was an amazing person. He influenced so many people by his example and his inner strength. He always had a smile and never complained no matter how sick he felt or what kind of pain he was in. He taught me so much more than I ever taught him. That boy was heaven sent from day one. I feel so honored that I was privileged enough to get to be his mother. Happy Birthday Bud!
Tonight we are going to celebrate his life with a party in his honor at the cemetery. This has now become a yearly tradition. Some of his friends and of course family join with us. We write messages on cards that have his photo on them and tie them to balloons and let them go. There is an email address on the card in case anyone finds them. We have received a couple responses the past two years. Then we light fireworks around his grave since Tyson was all about fireworks! That boy was a pyro! After that (if the cops don't come) we will sing Happy Birthday and serve Chocolate Ecstasy. He liked that much better than cake. This year I also have a Hula Girl pinata' that all the little cousins will have a blast breaking open.
Tyson's first two weeks were spent mostly in the NICU at the Primary Children's Hospital. The first three months of his life were spent in the Med-Surg ward there as well. He was a little fighter and beat the odds that were against him. We felt so blessed to have such a great hospital and doctors so close by. It was a great day when we finally got to bring him home!
I know, I know.... I got a little carried away with the photos. Two reasons. First, I have been playing with this new Picasa program I downloaded that I'm trying to learn, and second, it was great therapy for me to do this today. Most of these are collaged and very tiny and so in order to see them you will have to click on them to enlarge. Enjoy!
Tyson was our second son and followed his big brother Skyler around like a little shadow. They were always the best of buds. He loved babies and was a very sensitive and loving little boy. He was always the first to know if someone was feeling down and would always go out of his way to try and make it better. Click to enlarge
Tyson had a very funny and witty personality. He was always dressing up in elaborate things and kept us entertained and laughing at all times. He was able to go to the 2002 Olympics to a hockey game. He was a great scout and only two merit badges away from his Eagle when he passed away.
Even though he spent a lot of his short life not feeling well, that didn't stop him from being involved and active. He was his Freshman class president, loved to paint ball, snowmobile, make movies, go camping, four-wheel, hunt, water-ski, drive (even though he could barely see over the steering wheel!), went to all his scout camps, climbed the steep rocks at Lake Powell...and on and on. He was very adventurous. I found out after from his friends a lot of the stuff he did that I didn't know about! And it was a good thing I didn't! Click to enlarge
These are a few shots of some of his hospital stays. He was usually in for a two week stay at least twice a year. His hospital visits were anything but boring! He kept the nurses and doctors on their toes when they came in. He usually had a 100cc syringe filled with water or silly string ready to fire. While at the hospital, Tyson and his bros loved to have ice wars...(by shooting ice through a straw.) He made good use of the room oxygen and latex gloves as you can see in the photos. We were told by many nurses and respiratory therapists through the years that he was their favorite patient. He made everything fun.
Tyson always loved Hawaii and the ocean. We were able to go there as a family before he passed away. That was a great blessing that we will always treasure. He loved to wear Hawaiian shirts. That was his trademark. He didn't care what people thought and would sometimes wear a crazy tie with his Hawaiian shirt! He really loved his little cousins and they loved him. Babies and animals were drawn to him and he to them. He was a great big brother and McKay stuck to him like Velcro. He was well liked and had lots of friends. He was the life of the party! He was always laughing and had the cutest and most contagious laugh. Oh how I miss that laugh!
Always the comedian. He was always doing something crazy. The third photo on the top is one of him in the hospital with his pet bunny Bandit. He missed him and begged us to bring him. So we snuck him in. Shh....!!! It was great! So many great memories! The fourth photo on top is taken outside at the hospital. He is the one climbing on the bar! Yes, the hospital patient out climbing on the bar! His pants would never stay on. He would just drop them wherever he happened to be...no worries! That was Tyson. He loved Lego's and was very talented at building cool things. He was very good at art and drawing and also loved to make movies. He could quote the dialogue from a movie verbatim after only seeing it once. He really liked the Lord of the Ring series and Star Wars. He wanted to be a movie director as a career and he would have made a great one. click to enlarge
Though we miss him terribly, we know he is good hands and doing great things. We love you bud!